Update: Added Space Hulk (PC) to the release list. Space Hulk promises an experience closer to the original board games, rather than being reminiscent of EA’s Real Time Tactical version back on the Amiga. It certainly looks the part, and after XCOM’s success, developers are more confident with good old turn based games making a return – so here’s hoping this one turns out to be another good one.
Original: Things are heating up – too obvious? probably. Anyway, there’s a lot of games coming out this month. In comparison to last month, it’s a veritable tidal wave of games. Of course if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably stocked up on games from the various summer sales on PSN, XBL and of course Steam’s glorious outpouring. In which case more games is the last thing you want. Maybe not the last thing, but certainly not the first. With the obligatory nonsense out of the way, this month has a number big titles coming out. None quite so big, brash and bombastic as Saints Row IV. I loved Saints Row 3, almost as much I loved Saints Row 2 and a little less than I liked Saints Row 3’s Trouble With Clones DLC. If you never got the DLC – it gave you limited superpowers, making SR3 play a little like Crackdown and was coupled with a brilliant soundtrack. What does this have to do with SR4? Well Volition liked the superpowers so much, they pretty much made it one of the main features of SR4. Continuing the players’ rise in power, you’re also playing the President of the United States…who can fly, and shoot laser beams, and wield a dubstep gun…you get the idea.
Early on in the month PC gets Divinity: Dragon Commander. First off, if you’ve played any of the previous Divinity games (Divine Divinity, Dragon Knight etc.) this is nothing like them. It’s set in the same world, but Dragon Commander is a strategy game…that lets you control dragons wearing jet packs! That got your attention didn’t it? It’s a little RTS, a little Drakengard and even has you making diplomatic decisions in your quest to rule the land. You can forge treaties with the undead, appease the elves, make merry with the dwarves – you can do all sorts of stuff. It even goes one step further by reflecting current political views in its fantasy realm. It’s experimental to be sure, but its definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Elsewhere Lost Planet 3 takes us back to the ice planet in the hopes of rekindling some of what made LP1 interesting and made LP2 such a mis-step. Also the protagonist now has a beard, so that’s a feather in its cap. Final Fantasy XIV releases as A Realm Reborn, this time coming to PS3 as well as PC. Judging from the betas, the game look stunning, is very welcoming to new players and wears its MMO cloak well. A lack of arcade gameplay in the combat and the barrier of subscriptions are the only things holding it back. While it doesn’t seem to be reinventing the genre like Guild Wars 2 has been doing, it offers the most polished version of the old model to date.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, XCOM’s long time coming shooter spin off arrives in a form that wasn’t entirely expected. It’s taken on more of a Mass Effect/R6V cover strategy shooter, rather than an all out one. While many people seem to think it’s a bad move, the game retains much of the XCOM core while delivering something a little more immediete than the main series.
Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda 51 (Killer7, No More Hereos, Lollipop Chainsaw) are back with Killer is Dead. Like previous titles, this one is another heavily stylised hack and slash romp with anime styled graphics and gratuitous violence. It’s a shame Grasshopper never brings their games to PC, the action is always top-notch, but their performance leaves a lot to be desired!
Else where Tales of Xillia comes out on PS3, the cartoony action RPG series this time offering a choice of protagonist, much like Star Ocean 2, offering different perspectives through the story. Dishonored DLC arrives to continue the story of Daud. So makes sure you’ve finished The Knife of Dunwall first if you intend on trying out The Brigmore Witches. Castlevania: Lords of Shadows arrives on PC at last, coming bundled with both DLC packs and making a very pretty game look even prettier. And last and most likely least – a remake of Flashback is releasing on Xbox Live Arcade. If you have ever played Flashback, then avoid this like at all costs. For everyone else, you’re welcome to try the side-scrolling action-fest, but be warned, it’s by the people who made Amy!
- Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear (PS3, X360)
- Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded (PC)
- Divinity: Dragon Commander (PC)
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (XBLA)
- Break Quest (Vita)
- Tales of Xillia (PS3)
- Harukoi Otome (PC)
- Dishonored – The Brigmore Witches DLC (PC, PSN, XBLA)
- Charlie Murder (XBLA)
- Ducktales Remastered (PSN)
- Space Hulk (PC)
- Payday 2 (PC, PS3, X360)
- Europa Universalis (PC)
- Disney Planes (3DS)
- Flashback (Remake) (XBLA)
- Skullgirls (PC)
- Disney Infinity (PS3, X360, Wii, 3DS)
- Saints Row IV (PC, PS3, X360)
- The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (PC, PS3, X360)
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist (PC, PS3, X360, WiiU)
- Battle Vs. Chess (PC, PS3, X360)
- The Wonderful 101 (WiiU)
- FFXIV: A Realm Reborn (PC, PS3)
- Madden NFL 25 (PS3, X360)
- Castlevania: Lord of Shadow Ultimate (PC)
- Killer is Dead (PS3, X360)
- Lost Planet 3 (PC, PS3, X360)
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3)
- Painkiller: Hell & Damnation (PS3, X360)
- Port Royale 3 (PC, PS3)
- Rayman Legends (Ps3, X360, Vita, WiiU)
- Etrian Odyssey IV (3DS)
- Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning (3DS)
Playstation PLUS in August
Leaving PS Plus on 31st July:
- Battlefield 3
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus (Vita)
- Unit 13 (Vita)
Entering PS Plus on 31st July:
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted
- Mafia 2
- Spec Ops: The Line
- Lego Lord of the Rings (Vita)
- When Vikings Attack! (Vita)
And that’s it. Now if you don’t mind – I need to go and save the world with McPixel…